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Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Tuesday Tip - Managing Your Household

I have been reading the book Feminine Appeal: Seven Virtues of a Godly Wife and Mother by Carolyn Mahaney and it has been wonderful! I have really enjoyed how she is very Biblical in her exhortations, but she is also very practical. At the end of the chapter you don't sit there and wonder, "Well, that was a lot of good truths, but how does that work out in my life?" She's so clear and encouraging and makes being a woman of God look so enticing. Which it is. I was reading the chapter titled "The Honor of Working at Home" and it completely changed the way I view my job. Instead of seeing my housework as something to get done as quickly as possible so I can move on to something more important, she showed me that there is honor and value in doing these things. That I am creating a home that is safe and loving for my family - a haven for them to want to come to. And more importantly, I'm creating a home where God is honored by my management.

To encourage you today, I'm copying a portion of that chapter here. It's a little long, but I really feel like you will be blessed by what she has to say. Here it is:

"Martin Luther, the man who sparked the Protestant Reformation, once quipped about his wife: 'In domestic affairs I defer to Katie. Otherwise I am led by the Holy Ghost.' While facetious, Luther's comment holds biblical credibility. As wives, we are to be in charge of domestic affairs.

The command in Titus 2 to be 'working at home' is further illuminated by 1 Timothy 5:14 where Paul says: 'So I would have younger widows marry, bear children, manage their households, and give the adversary no occasion for slander.'

In the Greek, the phrase 'manage their households' carries a strong connotation. It literally means to be the ruler, despot, or master of the house. So we see that 'working at home' means we are to function as the home manager - taking full ownership for all the domestic duties of the household.

Once again the woman in Proverbs 31 is our example. she presided over the entire range of responsibilities in her home. She helped her husband; cared for her children; completed chores; supervised servants; oversaw land; invested money; bought, sold, and traded goods (just to name a few duties!). The Provers 31 wife maintained a broad sphere of rule in her household.

Imitating this woman's model, Sarah Edwards, the wife of the eighteenth-century preacher Jonathan Edwards, managed her household with careful and thorough diligence. One day Dr. Edwards emerged from his studies and asked his wife: 'Isn't it about time for the hay to be cut?' To which Sarah was able to respond, 'It's been in the barn for two weeks.'

Sarah created a world where her husband could fulfill his God-given duties without being concerned for the domestic tasks of the home. We should aspire to do likewise.

Now with the command to 'rule' in our homes, I must provide two cautions. First of all, this is not license to usurp our husband's authority. Our management in the home must be carried out in complete support of his leadership and direction.

But this mandate also precludes the currently popular 'co-responsibility' approach to homemaking. As wives, it is our job to manage our homes, and we should not expect our husbands to contribute equally to this task.

This is not to say that our husbands shouldn't help around the house. There are times when we legitimately need their assistance, and this is especially true for moms with small children. The point is not to excuse our husbands from service in the home, but rather to solidify our role as manager of the home. God has given that assignment to us.

And in case the magnitude of this assignment makes you feel as if a load of bricks has just been deposited on your back, cheer up! This calling from God is not intended to be a burden, but rather a source of great fulfillment and joy. Even if we do not think of ourselves as administrators, as organized or capable of managing anything, and although we might not be as gifted as Sarah Edwards or the woman in Proverbs 31, God has equipped each of us with the skills we need to efficiently manage our homes.

For in truth, we are unable to rule effectively in our own strength. It is God who supplies all the time, energy, and ability we need to glorify Him as home managers."
-Carolyn Mahaney, Feminine Appeal, p 107-108

AMEN!! Hope you enjoyed that as much as I did!

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